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Main characteristics of the scorzone

The scorzone, also known as the summer truffle, is a mushroom that is born and develops underground. It has an irregularly rounded shape and a rough black surface with pyramidal warts. The characteristic smell of the truffle is very strong and is accentuated when it is handled. By cutting the mushroom, the inside is not brownish but rather intense yellow. The scorzone harvest begins in mid-May and ends in December depending on the research areas. The truffles that are extracted in spring have a lighter and more immature pulp, while when they are fully ripe the inside will gradually darken. Compared to other varieties of truffles, the scorzone keeps longer and can be transported more easily.

Curiosities and distinctive features

The scorzone truffle is used to further enrich refined and complex dishes in themselves. Scorzone is an underground fungus that is, it grows below the surface of the soil. It prefers sandy and clayey soils. Its presence is stronger where there are broad-leaved trees or pine forests. It grows near downy oaks, hornbeams but also hectods and oaks and turkey oaks. It is harvested from May to December and the mushrooms collected at the end of the season are perfectly ripe and more aromatic. The scorzone never reaches large dimensions. Only in very rare cases can it assume considerable proportions. To an inexperienced eye it may seem similar to a black truffle. However the interior is not black but remains a nutty yellow color.

Collection of the scorzone

The collection of the scorzone truffle is subject to the same regulations that regulate the search for other types of truffles. It can be freely collected in abandoned or otherwise uncultivated land and in the woods. Not everyone can collect truffles but those who intend to do so must undergo a test of eligibility and obtain the appropriate license to be renewed every five or ten years depending on the area. The rules to follow for issuing the card are set at the regional or provincial level. Those who do not have the opportunity to collect the precious mushrooms can always buy them. It has a decidedly lower cost compared to that of other types of truffles but nevertheless it can cost from sixty to seventy-five euros per kilo.

Scorzone: Uses of scorzone in the kitchen

The summer truffle is used in the kitchen for the preparation of creams, sauces but also aromatic oils and sausages with an unusual and refined flavor. The scorzone scent is suitable to be paired with dishes based on red meats or game. It is also excellent mixed with coarse salt to obtain a salt suitable for flavoring different dishes. Truffles are difficult to find fresh on the market for obvious reasons of conservation and market price. However, it is possible to choose truffle-based creams to be used to dress fresh egg pasta or risotto creamed with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano. The scorzone goes well with both cream and béchamel sauce to be used to season dishes typical of some areas of Italy.